General Question

sacaver's avatar

Anyone have a suggestion on a good book to learn some basic SQL scripting?

Asked by sacaver (433points) September 25th, 2008

I don’t know jack about SQL. I really need to learn some basic SQL scripting. I don’t want to get crazy with this, however. We’ve got a SQL database and I need to do some queries on tables. Just some basics would be nice. Any suggestions on a book that doesn’t get too deep?

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11 Answers

fireside's avatar

Here is a place online to start learning

bodyhead's avatar

You can use SQL commands in Access if you want to test them before you attack your real database. Just make a fake one or export your data to an Access database. This is just a little tidbit that helped me out when I started.

And if you seriously want a book with just the primers in it then you should try SQL for dummies. If all you want to do is retrieve tables then the book will probably be more advanced then you need it to be. Those dummies books are notoriously easy to read.

cwilbur's avatar

Ask your coworkers for their recommendations, and ask one of them to mentor you.

If you’re running queries on a shared database, you have the potential to really really screw things up for your coworkers. They need to be involved in your education.

Skyrail's avatar

If you really want to get a book (although maybe a bit over the top for really basic stuff) then I highly recommend this book absolutely fantastic. I had learned SQL along with PHP last year, I recently decided I want to go further in depth with it and learn from scratch again and this book is perfect. For me anyway.

Do be careful though when using SQL in a development environment. I hoping, as you’re a new user, and if you are working in a business environment that your DBA (or the tech guy) will only give you the privileges you need ;) Good luck learning! It’s a fun little language to learn and very powerful when combined with proper programming languages.

tWrex's avatar

Why not the mysql documentation website? That’s where I started.

cwilbur's avatar

Because not all SQL is MySQL.

tWrex's avatar

True, but SQL is still the base implementation in MySQL. Are there large differences in the implementation? If so, I am definitely not aware of them.

bodyhead's avatar

I’m assuming he’s talking about Microsoft SQL server. There are differences enough in the syntax to where a beginner would be easily and unnecessarily confused. I’d rather implement a MySQL database myself but to each his own.

sacaver's avatar

@cwilbur: if I try to ask my coworkers about our SQL database, I’ll hear the following: “What’s a seequol database?”

And, yes, for clarification, we are running MS SQL Server 2005. I should have put that in the description. I didn’t have any choice in implementation. Our ticketing system uses MS SQL, so that’s what we’ve got.

BTW, thanks to all of you for the answers. I’ve just gone from the “computer guy” who fixes computers to apparently the “computer guy” who now must also know how not to muck up a database. Looks like I’ve got some learning to do.

tWrex's avatar

@bodyhead Ahhhh! MS SQL. I now understand!

bodyhead's avatar

Yea, if you’re young and know about computers, you’re expected to know everything about everything with a power button.

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